Weekly patterns of suicide and the influence of alcohol consumption in an urban sample

Sergey Sapozhnikov, Andrei Golenkov, Zoltán Rihmer, Gabor S. Ungvari, Gábor Gazdag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and purpose: The weekly fluctuation in suicide rates is influenced by several factors including sex, psychiatric illness and alcohol dependence. The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of current alcohol use on suicid. Methods: Data on sex, date of death, results of blood and/or urine alcohol tests and history of alcohol dependence in suicide victims over the 1997-2002 period were retrieved from a forensic database in two cities in Chuvash Republic. Results: Over the six-year study period, 1,379 suicides were committed, 59% of them under the influence of alcohol. The peak incidence for men and women regardless of previous alcohol consumption was on Wednesdays and Mondays, respectively. The overall suicide rate was highest on Mondays and lowest on Thursdays. Both sexes were less likely to commit suicide during holidays than on weekends or workdays while intoxicated with alcohol. Conclusion: In this urban sample, the distribution of suicide across weekdays only partly followed the international pattern. The peak incidence of suicide showed sex difference, with the highest incidence for women on Mondays and for men on Wednesdays. The higher suicide rate on workdays might be accounted for by work-related stress, while the lower rate on weekends could be explained that people usually drink alcohol in the comforting company of family or friends, which reduces psychological tension and suicidal ideation. The majority of men consumed alcohol before committing suicide, regardless of the day of the week, while this observation was true for women only on Fridays and Sundays. Alcohol consumption greatly contributes to suicidal behavior in Chuvash Republic.

Original languageHungarian
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalIdeggyogyaszati Szemle
Volume75
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022

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